Monday, 4 November 2013

Walking the Path of Exile

I was all set to bag out this obvious Diablo clone for being just that, and then I played it. It's a pretty decent game, and arguably better than Diablo in parts once you get past the limited character creation. I imagine it's because they put all their development into the character advancement screen. It definitely overwhelmed me the first time I saw it!

The game also features more skill options in combat, though for the most part you will still be breaking your mouse buttons while you not only level your character but each "skill gem" which means your fire ball or shield bash may not be as effective as the guy next to you. The self-refilling potions is a new one for me too. Instead of lugging around hundreds of health or mana potions, here you have a belt of five (of your choice) that refill as you kill baddies. Obviously you'll be swapping out the little flasks for the big ones that are more beneficial but does this also mean you'll be hoping each boss comes with adds (extra minions) to give you top ups? It's a little weird.

I think she's about to refill her potions.
 
The other thing I also like is the barter system they have, but can see where there is room for improvement. There's no gold in the game, instead NPCs trade you random bits and pieces to form little consumable things like weapon or armor improvement and scrolls of identi-*cough*-wisdom. The problem is that all the NPCs give the same tidbits which means players have found common items to use as currency. I would have preferred if each NPC (at least in the one zone) traded different goods from all the others, and possibly doesn't accept items of particular types but I guess that's an improvement for next time.

Really my biggest issue with the game is a little one. It is an ARPG, not an MMO. You have safe zone hubs where you can run into people, sure - but out in the ever changing, procedurally generated wilderness each instance is only for you or your party with zero chance of meeting anyone else (actually didn't DDO and GW1 do the same/similar thing just without the procedurally generated map). Even in Warframe if you play "online" there's a chance other random players will show up to help in your mission (which also has randomly generated maps), though only a maximum of 4 at any one time. I think it would be nice to be able to bump into others out in the wilds every now and then, but I guess that opens up the door to other issues.

Of course the real question is: is it good enough to keep playing? To that my answer is a solid yes.

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